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tv   Nightline  ABC  March 23, 2016 12:37am-1:07am EDT

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right back.test text1 underline >> announcer: this is a special edititn of "nightline," "brussels under attack." good evening. thanks for joining us. brussels on alert tonight. the headquarters of nato and the european union still reeling after a brazen terror attack on that city. a sies of deadly bombs, at least one packed with nails, killing dozens. injuring hundreds at transportation hubs at t height of rush hour. here at home the u.s. stepping up security and issuing travel warnings for europe. millions on edge bracing for what might come next. abc's chief foreign correspondent terry moran is in belgium for us tonig. >>t's okay. >> reporter: a routine morning became the scene of carnage. >> stay down. stay down. >> reporter: as brussels, known as the capital of europe, became the target of two separate
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>> what it was, a truck or bus. it was a terrorist. >> reporter: twin blasts hit brussels international airport, filling the terminal with smoke and shattered glass. >> big bang. everybody cried and came along here. you saw kind of smoke, you know. >> reporter: and then an hour later another explosion at the maalbeek metro station. isis has claimed responsibility for the deadly terror attacks that left at least 31 dead and at least 250 injured. tonight, 15 local hospitals are treating the victims. this nail was recovered from a victim's body, possibly indicating a nail bomb was cuesed incues ed used in these attacks. the terror started at 8:00 a.m. in the departures terminal of brussels airport. >> there have been explosions in the terminal hall. >> reporter: two bombs exploding just minutes apart. one near airline baggage
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starbucks counter. law enforcement later found a third bomb in a suitcase that never detonated, leading them to believe the first two bombs may also have been in suitcases. >> you just feel like a wave, a wave go through your body. >> smashed windows. we didn't get any information. >> reporter: the terminal filled with smoke and the sound of screams. travelers lying on top of each other on the floor. this man holding a little girl. >> stay down. stay down. >> reporter: people huddled in fear and then the questions. >> what it was, a truck or was it a terrorist? >> reporter: this man picked a small baby up off the floor before running to safety. the bombs so powerful ceilings collapsed. airport security scanning for victims. >> you have to go, sir.
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evacuate, they rush out of the terminal. glass crunching under foot. >> hundreds of people started running. i ran with them. there was no clue as to what was going on. >> reporter: outside, smoke pouring out of shattered windows as terrified travelers run away. about an hour after the airport blasts another explosion about seven miles away at maalbeek metro station. a bomb tearing through a five-car train packed with rush hour commuters. >> everyone started screaming and people dropped to the floor. ople were crying. >> reporter: american brian carroll was on that train. >> collectively, we all manually forced open the door, and at that moment i looked at, you know, the platform and thought, off. bubu at the same time if i get off the platform what's waiting for me on the other side? are there terrorists there that are going to shoot everyone as theyeyet off? and we just decided to go for it and get off the train and try
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>> reporter: one metro stop away from brian's, the terrified screams of a child. survivors helping each other out of the subway cars and walking into dark tunnels to escape. [ screaming ] this man sti clutching a bouquet of flowers. details are beginning to emerge tonight about mama of the injured, including belgian professional basketball player sebastian belin. >> he had to stay on the floor for about an hourur so he lost a lot of blood until he was finally transported to a hospital. >> reporter: and then there's chad and kimberly wells's son, who was burned and hit by shrapnel but able to call his parents today from his hospital bed. >> but your eyes arere okay? >> yeah. my right hand is also kind of badly burnt. >> okay. >> but it should be fine as well. >> words can't describe the joy and the relief that we felt to hear his voice and know that he was alive and okay and he's
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>> h h long will you be in the hospital? > couple weeks. >> oh.. >> reporter: he's had a history of close calls. wells was a block away from the boston marathon boboing three years ago. and he was in france during the paris attacks in november. now this. >> he was extremely close to the blast. therefore, he got burned by it. it's a miracle he's alive. >> reporter: now investigators areerying to find the people responsible. this photo shows three possible suspects from the airport attack. according to thth belgian federal prosecutor, two of the three he says are likely suicide bombers. an urgent manhunt is now under way for one possible surviving suspect. the manhunt triggering raids across brussels. guns drawn, a drone overhead. police move in using a camera on a stick to p pr into an upper-floor apartment.
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residents gathered to watch. "they did not allow me to go inside or even outside," this man id. "the people living there cannot go out." the sweep lasting deep into the night. the raids have targeted this neighborhood just a mile or so from downtown. this whole block has been cordoned off. and they have found yet another explosive device packed with nails, chemical products, and an isis flag. tonight, authorities are investigating w whether today's carnage was triggered by this raid four days ago. the one that took down salah abdeslam, the missing attacker november. abdeslam allegedly rented the car that carried a group of terrorists to this soccer stadium. [ explosion ] abdeslam also rented the car that dropped off the isis gunmen at the bataclan theater where an american rock b bd was playing to a sold-out venue. four men brandishing assault rifles opened fire on the crowd. the most wanted man in europe
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right under the noses of belgian authorities. he evaded them for four months until they found him in this apartment only a few yards from his family home. abdeslam is believed to be the man in the hooded sweatshirt being dragged off a pavement by police, shot in the leg. you can see him limping as they force h h into the car. special forces searched the nearby buildings with their guns drawn looking for accomplices. authorities say in custody abdeslam cooperated, admitting to planning other attacks, all while hiding in molenbeek, a neighborhood known as a hotbed of extremism. the streets of this neighborhood are full of arabic restaurants and grocers and butchers, and it's one of the neighborhoods that has sent more jihadi fighters to syria and iraq than any other place in europe. three of the alleged paris attackers were from here and of the more than 500 belgians believed to have gone to fight for isis many have links to molenbeek. today brussels has declared three days of national mourning.
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the french prime minister, manuel valls, saying "we are at war." and president obama reacting to the terrorist attacks from cuba this morning. >> we stand in solidarity with them in condemningutrageous attacks against innocent people. we will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible. and this is yet another reminder that the world must uhite. >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm terry moran in brussels. up next, what authorities are learning tonight from this grainy surveillance photo in the rapidly shifting investigation. new late details on the manhunt from our brian ross. olay regenerist renews from within... plumping surface cells for a dramatic transformation without the need for fillers.
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as investigators across brussels sift through the smoking wreckage f f clues, one chilling image, a grainy surveillllce photo of three men dominating the international manhunt for one key suspect. and late details tonight on what may be triggering this latest onslaught of terror. here's abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross. >> reporter: the key to the investigation tonight is this photo and the surveillance videos it came from. three men looking grim and determined as they push luggage carts through the brussels airport. now identified by belgian authorities as the suspected attack team. their names provided to u.s. officials late today by the belgians. >> the belgian authorities are
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one of those videocameras and seeing where these people are throughout the airport. was there maybe somebody else in fact who who was with them and broke off. >> reporter: two dressed in black with no effort to hide theiraces are believed to have been the suicide bombers. their bombs hid nen their large bags according to officials. each wearing a black glove on the lefef hand, perhaps to hide the bomb's trigger, according to one former fbi official. >> whethth it's wires, strings, a button. something is there that when they move their hand it actually makes the bomb go off. >> reporter: the third man who authorities say got away and is being sought tonight has a hat pulled down over his face. pushing what may have been the third bomb that authorities say did not dedenate. >> the other indndidual could be their handler. he wants to be able to live for another day, for another terrorist attack. >> reporter: bomb experts tonight are studying the
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but already they say another one at a metro stop in brussels appeared to be much more powerful than the explosives used in paris last november. this x-ray of one of the victims shows how the bombers used three-inch metal bolts as shrapnel, tearing into human flesh at a speed of one mile a second. >> no other reason but to kill and maim. hopefully the blast wave would knock them unconscious because it's devastating. >> reporter: and authorities believe it all represents careful planning and stealth operations by the isis central command in syria. over the last year hoping to establish sleeper cells across europe and the u.s. >> we know that isis created an external attack division last year that they created within that division units for each country. people who were from germany. people who were from england. people who were from the united states. >> reporter: and of course from
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>> unfortunately, there are probably more cells in belgium. maybe cells that were kept separate intentionally from this unit. cells that the first cell did not even know about may still be out there. >> reporter: and belgian authorities fear that the capture last friday in brussels of the long-sought fugitive from the paris attacks salah abdeslam may have triggered tuesday's attacks. >> as soon as members of the cell knew that abdeslam had bee captured, they knew he would be going under interrogation. they knew the papers and the analyzed. that probably told them immediately go to ground, hide, >> reporter: members of congress say they were told much the same thing about abdeslam's arrest at a classified briefing late tuesday. >> and in fact that arrest still may have saved lives because it may have been even more lethal if they had the luxury of more time to plot and plan. but i wouldn't be a bit
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connected to that arrest. >> reporter: security in the u.s. at major airports and transit centers was stepped up today amid fears the attacks in brussels could trigger attacks in the u.s. >> this is something he with think about every mine of every day. >> reporter: it certainly triggered some terror jiers, as we saw at new york's grand central station. >> keep your eyes en, watching what's going around. we've seen a lot more police presence. >> always awaref my surroundings. look left and right, up and down. >> we hope that, you know, the powers that be are doing what they need to dodo. >> reporter: officials were taking no chances. a flight that took off from brussels just before the attack landed in orlando, where it was met by a heavy police presence far from the terminal. it was cleared after an inspection of the baggage. and in denver part of the airport terminal was evacuated after a bomb-sniffing dog alerted on some baggage. it too was later cleared. but there are legitime concerns given what happened in brussels.
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always has been, right? >> completely unsecured. reporter: former homeland security official john cohen told abc's david kerley that the areas before airport security are especially vulnerable. >> we've built up checkpoints d screening procedures and screening technologies. but the front of the airport is vulnerable. someone can walk in the door with an explosive devicee or a firearm and can create a lot of havoc and a lot of injuries with people who are waiting to go into the other part of the airport. >> reporter: at present u u. officials say they know of no -called isis cells in the u.s. but the fbi continues surveillance on dozens of americans in all 50 states who have shown alleged sympathies for isis. in the past 2 1/2 years, 103 americans have been charged with trying to join isis or are suspected of supporting the oup in some other way. but still, it's far less of a problem than exists in many european countries. >> the number sll is
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and the reality is that the muslim-arican communities here in the united states are not as isolated, not as alienated as what we've seen in certain places in europe like this ighborhood in brussels which was very difficult for the police to penetrate. >> reporter: for "nightline" brian ross, abc news, new york. and up next, join us on a urney of images. some of the most unforgettable moments we've witnessed on this tragic day.
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(vo) you can check on em. you can worry about them. you can even choose a car for them. (mom) honey, are you ok? (child) i'm ok. (announcer vo) love. (mom) we're ok.
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and finally tonight, as the
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orus of whys intensifies we take stock on this terrible day. the heartbreak, the heroism, and the moments that will linger in our collective memory. >> tonight, iconic landmarks around the world alight in black, yellow, and red. awash in the colors of a nation bruised but notbroken. those grieving in brussels coming together in the streets with messages of unity written in chalk. a temporary tribute to lives gone forever. and in cuba president barack obama calling for global solidarity. >> this is yet another reminder that the world must unite.e. we must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. >> reporter: in our nation's capital the american flag lowered to half staff. >> this is for brussels tonight.
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me. when the rain is blowing in your face >> reporter: in london a ale offering this moving tribute to the victims. performing "make you feel my love" in their honor. and in france, a cartoonist for "lemonde" with a simple message. paris and brussels bound together in a somber similarity. on social media the hashtags jesuisbruxelles and pray for belgium shared all over t world. >> there was a massive explosion. the lights went out. the power went out on the train. everyone fell to the ground. it was clear to me at least that this was a terrorist attack. >> reporter: millions heard the voices of those who lived through the harrorong hours. >> i felt it. i can still feel it in my chest now. ththfirsrs blast. >> reporter: recounting the horrific moments when survival was uncertain. >> it was a nightmare. the worst nightmare you could imagine. >> reporter: but perhaps more importantly, the true nature of
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in the darkest times. >> it was really this sense of humanity that emerged in this sense of chaos. that to mehows that these types of things don't defeat the human spirit. >> for the latest on brussels, tune i i to gma tomorrow. and as always, we're online at and on our "nightline" facebook page. tonight our thoughts are with
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good night, america.. >> live, the one andnly local 10 news starts right now. isis suicide pommers behind the attacks. and now he is the target of a worldwide man hunt. >> anchor: the oth big story, president obama delivering a historic speech, sending his message directly to the cuban people. the trip ending with dip homesy. a spring game filled with cymballism and hope for the ture. the president's trip was a success. >> few would disagage this is just the beginning for a cuba that must companying from within. our team coverage begins in havana tonight. calvin. >> horry, it was extraordinary
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speaking directly to the cuban people. calming for democrat reforms in communist head cuba.a honk time cuban diplomate told me that obama delivered the words now it is time r congress to act. >> wheels up for president obama, as he leaves cuba with raul castro looking on. a dramatic exit after a whirlwind 48 hours of sightseuing by lateral meetings baseball and dip homesy. >> i haveome here, to bury the last remanene of the cold war in the americas. >> glymph it directly to the people, hive on state run t.v. >> havana is only 90-miles from n n, but toet here we had to travel a quite distance. over barriers of history, and ideology. barriers of pain, and separation
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president back in south florida the chairman of the cuban american national foundation who helped frame the content of the president's extraordinary speech, directly to cubans. >> when the people hear direct hi from the president of the united states, that we are not yoururbstacle that we are your friend that we are your al high, that we are here to trade with you, support you, help you build businesses, it breaks a mind set. >> and as he spoke inavana, obama tried to spread a message of shared values. >> for of offer owl differences, the cuban and american people share a common values in their own lives. a sense of patriotism, and a sense of pride. >> obama delivered the right words but congress must about. >> obama invites us to turn the panel and move on. but it is difficult, because the embargo is this, guantanamo is there, these are historic elements you cannot avoided


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